For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Ashland, Ore. Police Department Joins P.A.A.R.I. To Launch Addiction Recovery Initiative
ASHLAND, Ore. – Police Chief Tighe O’Meara announces that the Ashland Police Department has partnered with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) to expand the department’s addiction recovery initiative, the Gateway program.
Through the department’s program, which launched on March 1, Ashland Police will implement new addiction recovery initiatives and work with P.A.A.R.I. to place participants into treatment. The department already carries nasal Naloxone (Narcan) in all police vehicles.
Modeled after both the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative and the Arlington Outreach Initiative, the Gateway initiative gives anyone who enters the police station or is contacted by a police officer and requests help with their addiction the opportunity to be screened into the program. Participants who turn over their drugs and paraphernalia and ask for help will not be charged. Instead, they will immediately be placed into a drug treatment program, regardless of financial means or insurance coverage.
As part of the Gateway initiative, the Ashland Police Department has also formally partnered with OnTrack, Inc. to provide residential and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment options for participants. OnTrack will assist Ashland Police with quickly responding to treatment requests by pre-screening participants for the appropriate level of care.
“Our department has made several steps in the right direction toward combating this opioid crisis in our own community, but partnering with P.A.A.R.I. and OnTrack will provide us with many additional resources that we need to continue saving lives from this disease,” Chief O’Meara said. “We are thankful for the law enforcement agencies who also recognize that this problem requires the attention of multiple community partners and we hope to spread P.A.A.R.I.’s mission through our partnership.”
Chief Campanello and John Rosenthal, co-founders of P.A.A.R.I., are pleased to welcome Ashland Police to the program and will work with the department to further their initiatives. They commend Chief O’Meara and his staff for taking the necessary steps to help those who need it most and for working to change the way law enforcement handles addiction.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) was launched to support police departments around the nation as they work to help those suffering from the disease of addiction. The United States faces a nationwide heroin and opioid epidemic, with more people now dying from overdoses than from car accidents in this country. Rather than arrest our way out of the problem of drug addiction, P.A.A.R.I. committed police departments.
- Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
- Help distribute life saving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
- Connect those struggling with the disease of addiction to treatment programs and facilities
- Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic
P.A.A.R.I. was created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal to bridge the gap between police departments and those struggling with the disease of addiction.